INDIE ROCK MUSIC Features

Live4ever Interview: ‘It felt back to where we were, making music to make each other laugh’ – Royal Blood talk new album and Trouble’s Coming

Posted on 01 Dec 2020 at 10:01am
Back with a new single, Mike Kerr of Royal Blood takes Live4ever through the genesis, recording and finishing touches of their upcoming third album.

“I was laughing at this idea of tyrants dancing, imagining Darth Vader coming back to his headquarters after a long day terrorising the galaxy. What does he listen to when he takes the mask off and pours a glass of red wine? It just made me laugh. It was a stupid thought process that lead to hopefully a good idea.”

So speaks Mike Kerr of Trouble’s Coming, Royal Blood’s latest single released back in September. An unusual gestation for a smash-hit single, one would agree, but Kerr is happy to add some context; “A massive influence for the record was Sam Rockwell.”

“There’s a scene in Charlie’s Angels where he’s the villain and he’s in his lair. He’s dancing in his suit and his snakeskin boots with a can of Coke to Simon Says by Pharoahe Moach.”

“For years that was our walk-on music because I was obsessed with that tune. When Trouble’s Coming came, I thought it was totally what Sam Rockwell would dance to. It’s disco music but I wanted it to be really menacing.”

Yes, Royal Blood are back with a slinky single and a new album to follow in 2021. Trouble’s Coming made a big splash on arrival, hitting Number 1 on the UK Vinyl Singles Chart and garnering Hottest Record accolades on both Apple Music and Spotify, as well as being a contender for Radio One’s own Hottest Record of 2020 as a whole.

Safe to say, it’s been a successful comeback but, despite their previous successes, Kerr is still grateful: “It’s amazing, and not something that’s taken for granted,” he tells Live4ever when we speak over Zoom. “You go and make a record, get lost in your world then come out and think, ‘oh yeah, there’s people out there that like us and want to hear this!’.”

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Live4ever Interview: Goat Girl reflect on the wide impact of lockdown ahead of On All Fours album release

Posted on 25 Nov 2020 at 8:13am
Goat Girl have been chatting to Live4ever ahead of the release of their new album On All Fours on January 29th next year.

As you probably know, there is quite a large gap between the recording of an album and its release.

Mastering, artwork, production, promotion…all these things take time, even before factoring in when is most financially beneficial to release said album. And while 2020 has given everyone the ‘luxury’ of time, for Brixton’s Goat Girl it has meant sitting on their sophomore album for well over a year.

Fortunately, the quartet are confident in it enough to take events in their stride, with no fear of losing the momentum built by their well-received, self-titled debut of 2018. “Not playing the songs, it still feels really new with not touring,” they tell Live4ever over Zoom during mid-Lockdown #2.

“That’s something to look forward to, and it still feels really fresh even though they are a year old! 2021 just made more sense. We got to take our time with the videos and everything else.”

As is their wont, creatives are rarely happy with the ‘finished product’, but with so much extra time to play with, was there ever any temptation to tweak the album? “You can always hear something and hear how it can be different.”

“It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that things can constantly mould and change, but it’s quite nice that it’s set in stone because it’s a snapshot of that period of time, when we were writing and how we were writing.”

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Live4ever Interview: Cabbage talk survival and releasing new album Amanita Pantherina during lockdown

Posted on 17 Sep 2020 at 7:40am

The big splash that changed all our lives in the spring is still causing ripples.

As has been thoroughly discussed and debated, gigs are off the agenda so musicians have had to be more creative in their thinking, be it live streams in lieu of concerts or just as promotion for a new album. Which is all well and good for those that can, but what about the artists that were in a precarious position beforehand?

Post-punks (for want of a better moniker) Cabbage were unfortunate enough to be on the back-foot anyway, having changed labels since the release of their debut album Nihilistic Glamour Shots. Its follow-up Amanita Pantherina has been gathering dust on the shelf for the best part of a year; “We finished it last year, towards the end,” co-frontman Joe Martin tells Live4ever. “October, November it was finished and then it was supposed to come out in May. Obviously, it couldn’t come out so that was a pain in the arse, but hey-ho.”

Did the enforced break perhaps allow time to make adjustments? Unfortunately not. “We had more time to work on artwork, but the bulk of the music had already been done and mastered. We’ve always released music constantly, so this is the longest it’s been without releasing any, which is just bizarre for us.” Speaking of bizarre, what of the unusual album title? “It’s a poisonous mushroom. We were mulling around for ages, and someone came up with that! As an analogy, it’s big and colourful but on the inside it’s quite venomous and poisonous.”

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Live4ever Presents: Katy J Pearson

Posted on 03 Sep 2020 at 8:01am

Live4ever Interview: James Walsh on new Starsailor material, Love Is Here anniversary and latest solo EP

Posted on 27 Aug 2020 at 7:49am

We’re now at the stage where the fruits of artists’ labours are coming to pass.

Fortunately for us music lovers, we’ve had many options for entertainment to keep us going during lockdown. Like live-streamed gigs; the good eggs that they are, musicians have often provided their services for charity, and Starsailor frontman James Walsh went straight for the jugular recently, performing a full acoustic version of the band’s debut album Love Is Here to raise funds for the NHS. Even he was surprised by the reaction.

“I think it raised nearly £10,000,” he tells Live4ever during an exclusive interview. “Considering it was just, ‘I’m going to do this and tweet about it and set up a Just Giving page’, I’m really pleased about how that grew through word of mouth. I think because the NHS was under a lot of strain there was a real groundswell of support for it, to do something. To make sure they got a few quid from our bands as well.”

When it’s put it to him that it shouldn’t really have been necessary, Walsh makes a compelling argument in response: “I completely understand the argument, but you can still hold that viewpoint and ethos while campaigning for more government money for the NHS, while also accepting they aren’t getting enough. It doesn’t necessarily let the government off the hook.”

Live4ever Interview: The Coral’s Ian Skelly talks new solo album Drifters Skyline

Posted on 11 Aug 2020 at 9:57am

For his day job, Ian Skelly drums and writes for Liverpudlian garage rock legends The Coral. His last solo album Cut From A Star was released eight years ago. Now back with Drifters Skyline, we talk to him about the inspirations for this heady mix of psychedelia, alt.country and seventies kitsch, the breakneck pace of recording it and how singing one way and feeling another inspired its contrasting moods.

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Live4ever Presents: Cucamaras

Posted on 06 Aug 2020 at 8:07am
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The last few months have made me realise how important music is to people – Live4ever’s interview with DMA’s

Posted on 03 Jul 2020 at 8:07am

When Oasis split in 2009 it was hard to escape the feeling that it would be temporary; the Gallaghers were famous after all for their fraternal strops and they’d recently made a partial return to form in Dig Out Your Soul. So, everyone waited. And waited. And waited.

For the people they left behind there was no ready made replacement. This wasn’t simply a case of turning to another band; in the likes of Wonderwall, Rock N’ Roll Star and Supersonic many saw and heard reflections of themselves, a connection which was far deeper than just music.

As time has passed however, new standard bearers for this under-served community emerged, groups and singers who’d developed largely outside of the industry’s ecosystem. Now, acts like The Courteeners, Blossoms and Gerry Cinnamon all sell out arenas and stadiums and yet remain largely unknown outside of what is almost an underground following, with by contrast what was once known as indie rock jagging sharply towards artier, less traditional landscapes during the last eighteen months.

Formed during 2012, DMA’s – a Sydney based trio made up of Tommy O’Dell, Matt Mason and Johnny Took – have emerged as another leading light in this anti-movement. Adopting a work ethic that you sense their fans would approve of, they’ve toured hard and let image be another band’s problem. With a belief in authenticity at their core, they’ve also made virtues of writing hooky, melody-strong tunes and doing shows which are about bubbling up with mates and temporarily forgetting the world outside.

As the release of their new album The Glow is finally on the horizon, Live4ever caught up with Tommy as we talked lockdown, their club-inspired new ideas and why Britain has taken them to their hearts.

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Hinds discuss the delay and evolution of new album The Prettiest Curse

Posted on 03 Jun 2020 at 7:40am

When Live4ever spoke to Hinds’ Ana Garcia Perrote at the end of April, the immediate effects of the coronavirus pandemic had been felt close to home: “My parents are both doctors,” she told us. “Ade’s (Martin, bassist) parents both got it and are both fine. Carlotta’s (co-vocalist and guitarist) mum got it, but she didn’t have any symptoms. It’s all good, but it was a lot to take in.”

Amidst this very personal turmoil, the band’s new album The Prettiest Curse felt the effects too, like so many given a later release date which will, finally, come around this Friday (June 5th). Although it was frustrating to delay the album’s release, it was an easy decision; “When we release albums, and for most other people, it’s a very exciting moment that you can celebrate and be happy about,” Perrote said. “A lot of work behind the scenes, which in this case has taken over a year, sees the light. It’s like your birthday party or something. Then, suddenly, it didn’t feel right to talk about it, because everyone was going through a lot. It was very scary.”

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In 2020 there’s always news, but at least there’s always Idles – a look ahead to the band’s third album

Posted on 30 May 2020 at 10:45am

Late in the Friday evening of April 18th, 1930, those in the UK with the sufficient inclination and technological means to sit around a wireless set and learn of the latest world events were greeted by something quite unusual: they were told, presumably in that clipped, BBC Queen’s English accent, that there was no news.

Instead, families now sporting presumably bemused faces were treated to some light piano tickling before they, presumably, stood for the national anthem, said their prayers and prepared for a pleasant weekend pottering around the garden.

It’s something that hasn’t happened since, and something we can safely assert will never happen again; almost exactly 50 years after there was no news, there was the launch of CNN in America. By the end of the eighties, Sky News had followed in the UK, in time for the Gulf War to forever cement 24-hour rolling news as an unavoidable, if not increasingly lamentable, aspect of modern life.

Even so, if there was ever a year that needed 24-hour rolling news, it’s 2020 – a year which had already managed to cram in a final Brexit, devastating bush fires and Trump showboating in Asia before a global pandemic shutdown life as we know it, taking with it lives and livelihoods along the way. In some parts of the world, it’s still only just getting started.

Back in the halcyon days of 2018, when Brexit and Trump were the most pressing shared concern in our lives, a band from Bristol were gearing up to succeed a debut album with which they’d built a fierce reputation and even fiercer devotion. Brutalism had shown that band, namely Idles, to be of a rare breed.

By taking personal stories and memories – whether it be growing up on a dead end street, having their outlook on life changed by a friend confiding mental health struggles, or family ties to the NHS – and wrapping them up in melody and chaos, these became unifying songs of a kind which anyone, anywhere, could search through and find something which spoke to their life too.

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